Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Online Personas and The Realness of Internal Selves

A fellow blogger, Alexa Moore, discussed the article “The Pointlessness of Unplugging” and how a particulr quote stuck her:

                        When reading the article I was really struck by one passage:
                        “Many submitted self-portraits to Reboot holding explanations of why they chose to unplug:                           “to be more connected,” “to reset,” “to spend more time with my family,” “so my eye will                              stop twitching,” “to bring back the beauty of life,” “to be in the moment.” Not so long ago,                            those very reasons (except, maybe, for the eye-twitching) would have explained why many                            took to the devices that they were now unplugging: to connect with old friends, to talk with                            family across the world, to see beautiful places and curious creatures through photographs                            and documentaries, to relax for a few moments with music" (Moore, 2014)

She further discussed the melting together of one's "real" self and one's "fake" internet representation of self, but I do not think that these are different things at all. I think that they are a part of one whole being.


Take this image that Moore found. I'm going to call this person James. James is both online as a rocking out, skateboarding fun dude. In his "real" life he sits o his couch and drinks beery-beer with his cheezy poofs all over the place. Well of course, you may be thinking, he is misrepresenting himself online. That Facebook douche is not the real douche sitting in that chair.

I challenge you on that, my imaginary heckler. The internet version of the self is exactly that: A version of the self. This is an extension of his real self. It may be his dreams, his aspirations, his desires, he idea of what his ideal self should look like. I think that this is an extension of who he is, internally, and should be read as such.

Certainly, there are people who will post truths online, as exemplified by the rounds and rounds of these kinds of people:

Finedininglovers.com, 2012

I am going to go ahead and guess that they really do have that food in front of them, and they really are going to eat it (I feel the need to point out that we are looking at a picture of a picture of food here, with the food in the background blurred out. Since when has the photography of food become more relevant than the food itself?) But back to the stuff I was talking about...

Even if these people were not eating this food, if they are pretending that they are, then there is something in the image that that portrays that says something about the person who has posted it. They want people to view them in a certain way, and I think that this is how internet selves and avatars should be read: the ideas of how people want themselves to be viewed. The things that they think are the best about them, and sometimes even the worst. What do they talk about on there? What photos do they put up?

this can tell you a lot about a person;s internal life, and so these "fake" internet selves were never fake to being with. These were windows they were allowing us to see into, showing us what goes on in their heads and their hearts in a way that seems like they are just presenting a persona.

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